Reigning world champion Mac Marcoux dominated the downhill courses on home snow, as he won both races at the World Para Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals on Saturday (10 February) in Kimberley, Canada.
His victories not only awarded him the 2017-18 World Cup title in the downhill discipline, but also drew him closer to the overall crystal globe as the Finals wrap up with two super-G races on Sunday (11 February). Saturday’s two runs were the first time for athletes to race in downhill this season after the last World Cup in Tignes, France, was cancelled due to poor weather.
Marcoux, with guide Jack Leitch, captured his fourth World Cup victory of the season to give him confidence heading into Sunday’s super-G, an event he is the world champion in. Competing in his first downhill race, he beat the USA’s Kevin Burton and guide Brandon Ashby, into second and Slovakia’s Jakub Krako and guide Branislav Brozman into third.
In the second race, Spain’s Yon Santacana Maiztegui and guide Miguel Galindo Garces took second, followed by Burton.
Slovakia’s Henrieta Farkasova and guide Natalia Subrtova had a good day finishing second in the first race and returning to win the second. The victory not only awarded Farkasova the downhill World Cup crown, but also strengthened her grip on the overall World Cup trophy in the women’s vision impaired with one more day to go.
However Great Britain’s Menna Fitzpatrick, guided by Jennifer Kehoe, was the one who spoiled Farkasova’s run for a perfect World Cup season by winning the first downhill race; and was only a split second off repeating that in the next race. Compatriot and 2017 downhill world champion Millie Knight, with guide Brett Wild, were third in the first race; and Germany’s Noemi Ewa Ristau, along with guide Lucien Gerkau, completed the podium in the second race.
Like Marcoux, Markus Salcher also heads into the final day in Kimberley with good vibes. The Austrian showed why he is the reigning downhill world champion by speeding to victories in both races, thus crowning him the discipline’s World Cup title winner.
Switzerland’s Theo Gmur finished runner-up to Salcher in both races, and podium finishes on Sunday could earn him the overall World Cup title in men’s standing.
Canadians Alexis Guimond and Braydon Luscombe respectively each completed the podium in the first and second races.
In the absence of France’s Marie Bochet in Kimberley, the women’s standing was an open contest. It was Dutch skier Anna Jochemsen – with victory in the second race and a second place in the first race – who claimed the 2017-18 downhill title.
Canada’s Alana Ramsay won the first race and finished second in the next run, while Germany’s Andrea Rothfuss made the podium in the opening race and Canada’s Mollie Jepson the second.
World champion Anna Schaffelhuber added the downhill World Cup title to her resume ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games after taking first and second-places in the women’s sitting. Austria’s Claudia Loesch nabbed a victory in the first race and third in the second race to maintain her stronghold on the overall standings. Japan’s Momoka Muraoka finished behind Schaffelhuber in the second race, and Germany’s Anna-Lena Forster also took a podium finish.
On the men’s side, the USA’s Andrew Kurka recorded his first World Cup victory this season – as well as his first top-three finishes – winning the first race and finishing third in the second. His results earned him the downhill World Cup title. Kurt Oatway added to the host nation’s success by winning the second downhill race, while Japan’s Akira Kano finished second both times. Kano’s compatriot Taiki Morii also reached the podium.
The Kimberley World Cup Finals will finish on Sunday with two super-G races.
Livestream and results will be available on a dedicated website.